It's October and while our northern hemisphere friends are celebrating the coming of fall, it's springtime here in Australia. At our house we're celebrating that the bees are back in the garden. Curiously, they disappeared last summer and we really felt their absence, in terms of their physical presence — flitting about on the lavender bushes in the courtyard — and also in that they weren't around to pollinate our strawberries and other plants in the kitchen garden.
Photographing bees has become one of my favourite pastimes and you could almost say I have palinoia on the subject. That is, I take shot after shot after shot, trying to perfect or master the art of macro photography. I love the work of Éric Tourneret, a.k.a. The Bee Photographer, a self-taught photographer who travels the world in search of bees and adventure. I've shared with you one of my favourite recent bee photographs (above) and thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few other Good Things' favourites for October, including a photograph of a long-stemmed red rose that my Peter picked from our garden and handed to me at the weekend. It was THE sweetest gesture from my beloved.
My pumpkin posts are receiving plenty of attention at present, and I see that many popular food blogs have showcased delicious-looking pumpkin recipes. For instance, The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, posted this recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. I love the way Ree describes her baking of these as a life-changing experience and also that she used a can of 'the crazy orange stuff' (pumpkin puree). I'm seeing this a lot lately and wish we had it here in Australia. If you happen to spot some, please let me know! Laura from Tutti Dolci, who seems to be quite the baking goddess, baked these pumpkin spice scones, also with pumpkin puree. Meanwhile, Barbara at Creative Culinary (whose motto is 'eat, drink, repeat') baked this pumpkin beer bread with pumpkin butter spread! Manuela from Manu's Menu has been making pumpkin tortelli. And Kellie from Food to Glow has created this roasted pumpkin hummus.
Baked apples are also on the agenda around the world. My friend Maureen, The Orgasmic Chef, has been baking health-giving apple bran muffins for herself and Rob, her dear old father in law. I'd love to visit Maureen for morning or afternoon tea some day. I know there'd be good things to eat at her place! This morning I spotted an apple related Facebook post from Jamie at Life's a Feast, so I know there's an apple cake coming soon to her blog. Similarly, Sarah, from Thyme, has been posting photographs of apples, so watch her blog for another fall offering. And my Hungarian friend, Zsuzsa, who must spend almost every waking moment in her kitchen, has baked a custard apple pie.
Meanwhile, in Australia, Jane, The Shady Baker, has just come back from a glorious family holiday by the beach on King Island. Celia, from Fig, Jam and Lime Cordial, is teaching us the art of chocolate making, Kyrstie from A Fresh Legacy, is showing us how good it is to grow fresh food at home, and Jennifer from Delicieux is giving away tickets to the Good Food and Wine Show in Brisbane.
What else is happening? There's a pile of books that I need to finish reading, before I can write my reviews and I had a great 'conversation' with Adam Liaw, of MasterChef and Destination Flavour fame, about his new book, Asian After Work. Make sure you add it to your collection!
Otherwise, we're snacking on Teresa Cutter's protein power balls, which are filling, totally yummy and easy to make, if not just a little expensive in terms of ingredients. Oh, and I'm thinking about a spring clean out, having listened to this segment about de-cluttering on ABC RN's Life Matters program. I'm also delighted that a crocodile farmer was named as Australia's 2013 Rural Woman of the Year; am looking forward to the upcoming Wine, Roses and All That Jazz festival in our cool climate wines region; and am highly interested in the PotatoTom, a grafted (non-GM) plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes!
Now it's your turn. Tell me what's happening in your part of the world, what have you been cooking lately and what good things are on the agenda.
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.